Calgary Tree Removal By-Laws

Calgary has a Tree Protection by-law to maintain and protect its seven million City trees on public property. Even if a tree is on or near your front lawn, it may still be considered a City of Calgary tree if you did not plant it yourself.

By-Laws for Trees on Public Property

 The Tree Protection Plan by-law states that: 

  • The City prohibits removing, cutting, pruning, or moving The City of Calgary trees.
  • If City permission is granted, citizens and residents can only remove, cut, prune, or move The City of Calgary.
  • Citizens and residents cannot attach any object or sign to the City of Calgary trees. 
  • Citizens and residents cannot penetrate the bark to trees on City land.
  • Citizens and residents cannot spray City of Calgary trees with any substance besides water.
  • Citizens and residents cannot attach any objects (including but not limited to electrical cords) to City of Calgary trees.

If these by-laws are violated, fines typically may range between $100 and $500. However, penalties may be as high as $1,000 if you do not comply with an enforcement order. 

By-Laws for Trees on Private Property

In the Yard and Perimeter Maintenance Brochure, the City of Calgary states that homeowners should manage their trees and shrubs so that they don’t interfere with other people, including neighbors, drivers, or pedestrians. 

The trees that citizens are expected to maintain especially include ones on sidewalks, walkways, lanes, back alleys, and boulevards.

Hedges, trees, and shrubs also should not grow past the height of 750 mm (75 cm) if they are located within the corner of a lot

Besides that, the City of Calgary does not have by-laws regarding removing or maintaining trees or shrubs on private property. 

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City Of Calgary’s Reasons For Protection Trees

Calgary has a variety of public health, welfare, socio-economic, and environmental reasons for protecting trees. The City of Calgary created the Tree Protection By-law in order to

  • Improve air quality by removing dust particulates and gaseous pollutants from the air
  • Absorb carbon dioxide
  • Moderate the climate 
  • Conserve energy
  • Retain stormwater
  • Facilitate and support wildlife habitats
  • Add aesthetic appeal to the urban landscape
  • Increase property value
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Tree and Stump Removal for Developers

The City of Calgary requests that developers look at every alternative option before considering the removal of a tree or tree stump when creating their development plans. 

If the developer would still like to remove a public tree for the development plans, they must first get their Development Permit or Building Permit (Residential House Move or Demolition) approved by Development & Building Approvals. 

Next, developers must complete and submit a public tree and stump removal application form. They must also submit a copy of the site plan drawings. These drawings should illustrate which trees they would like removed. 

Once a developer has been approved to prune or remove a public tree, they can choose from two options for hiring a tree service contractor.

  1. Choose from a set, pre-approved list of contractors. These contractors have met minimum standards and are permitted to work on City-owned trees.
  2. Find and hire their own tree service contractor, as long as that contractor meets the following minimum requirements:
  3. Holds an ISA Certified Arborist designation
  4. Provides coverage of five million dollars in general liability insurance and five million dollars in auto insurance 
  5. Holds a WCB Clearance Letter
  6. Has an Alberta Occupational Health and Safety Certificate of Recognition 
  7. An aerial unit — if required for the development — must have a current commercial vehicle inspection and a current non-destruct boom inspection


If you have seen someone violating these by-laws, you are welcome to file a complaint. To file a complaint regarding a tree or shrub violation, please call 311 if you are in Calgary. Outside of Calgary, please call 403-268-CITY.

If you need help determining whether a tree is a City of Calgary tree, please call 311. Contact a local Calgary tree removal company for assistance if you need to get rid of a tree.

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At Tree Removal Calgary Inc., all of our arborists are experts in their field and have the necessary equipment to handle any tree removal situation. We pride ourselves in being familiar with every detail of the process, including using the gear to rig, as well as manipulating and pulling the tree down safely.